Michael R. Head (suppressingfire) wrote,

Spending in a recession...

After getting sick of brewing weak, yet bitter coffee at home for at least a year now, we decided to buy a new coffee maker. I had originally been eyeing these "grind and brew" machines which take as input water, whole roasted beans, and a brew time and output fresh ground and brewed coffee at the appropriate hour. There are a number of these available on the market, but after doing a bit of "research" on the web, I found too many reviews that indicate that all of the machines that are reasonably priced (less than $300) are not well made and don't brew top quality coffee. What's more, they can be problematic to clean if you use certain oily beans. So we scrapped that idea. Now, at work there's an "espresso buy-the-cup" machine that makes really nice espresso and cappucino at the press of a button from whole beans, water, and milk, but that machine is way out of budget.

So the other class of makers I've been looking at are the "single cup coffee makers." These take as input water and a powder (or concentrated liquid) packet and output a cup of coffee within a minute. There seem to be three major vendors of these, Flavia, Keurig, and Tassimo. Flavia appears to distribute mainly via the Internet/mail order. We had a bunch of Bed Bath and Beyond 20% off coupons and were in the mood to get one today, so we drove over to BB&B to select one. BB&B has a "special edition" Keurig which has a smaller water reservoir than their other models, but is ~$50 cheaper, so we went with that.

The major tradeoffs between the Keurig and the Tassimo appear to be that the Keurig can brew regular coffee with a special filter/adapter and has slightly less expensive "K-Cup" flavor packets, whereas the Tassimo has a charcoal filter, smaller sized flavor packets, a deal with Starbucks to supply some coffee, and the ability to brew espresso and cappucino. Cheaper per-cup expenses (~50¢/ 8oz cup) and the fact that we're just fine buying charcoal filters for our Brita lead us to the Keurig. I figure if I want cappucino, I can walk the 2 blocks to any of the several coffee shops on Main street in Tarrytown.

End result: we have made a few drinks with the Keurig, and are quite happy with it. I made a medium cup of cocoa with the included packet for basic cocoa. It was a little weak and watery, which is to be expected for my tastes, because I exclusively make powerdered hot cocoa with milk. Nevertheless, it was drinkable, and at some point I'll order the fancier Ghirardelli "K-Cup." Shprese has been happy with the coffee it brews, so I consider the purchase a success.
Tags: coffee, personal, purchases
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